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Ca2+-activated K+ permeability in human erythrocytes: Modulation of single-channel events


Elevated levels of intracellular Ca2+ activate a K+-selective permeability in the membrane of human erythrocytes. Currents through single channels were analysed in excised inside-out membrane patches. The effects of several ions that are known to inhibit K+ fluxes are described with respect to the single-channel events. The results suggest that the blocking ions can partly move into the channels (but cannot penetrate) and interact with other ions inside the pore. The reduction of single-channel conductance by Cs+, tetraethylammonium and Ba2+ and of single-channel activity by quinine and Ba2+ is referred to different rates of access to the channel. The concentration- and voltage-dependent inhibition by ions with measurable permeability (Na+ and Rb+) can be explained by their lower permeability, with single-file movement and ionic interactions inside the pore.

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Correspondence to W. Schwarz.

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Grygorczyk, R., Schwarz, W. Ca2+-activated K+ permeability in human erythrocytes: Modulation of single-channel events. Eur Biophys J 12, 57–65 (1985).

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Key words

  • Red cell, K+ channel
  • Ca2+ dependence
  • single-channel current